Do consumers care if the companies they buy products and services from are socially responsible? The models that companies adopt for their corporate social responsibility efforts continue to evolve, but what impact do the varied strategies have on consumer sentiment?
According to a recent Nielsen global survey, consumer sentiment toward socially responsible companies is growing. In the year-and-a-half since Nielsen published its “Global, Socially Conscious Consumer” report, the percentage of global consumers willing to reward companies that give back to society grew by 5 percent—increasing to 50 percent from 45 percent.
For the recent study, as it did in 2011, Nielsen used stated willingness to spend more on goods and services from companies that have implemented programs to give back to society as a proxy for how much consumers care about brand investments in social impact. The results provide one simple gauge for whether consumers care—about cause marketing, shared value, conscious capitalism or other pursuits of corporate social impact—and they help to quantify the growing desire among consumers to reward the companies they view as socially responsible.